Digital City

People get more connected and technology becomes part of our daily life. Between 2014 and 2015 there was a 27% growth of internet traffic in Amsterdam. Eleven out of fifteen Trans-Atlantic data cables are connected with or go through Amsterdam and the AMS-IX is the second largest internet exchange point in the world. In 2016 Amsterdam was ranked second in the European Digital City Index. Do you work on a smarter city? Share your technologies here!

Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Validation Workshop: How can European cities and regions use “sandboxing” to develop their data ecosystems?

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How can European cities and regions use “sandboxing” methodologies to develop their data ecosystems? This is the central question explored in the project: "Regional and local data-driven
innovation through collective intelligence and sandboxing”.

The purpose of the project is to support the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in identifying and assessing the impact of the development of regional and local data ecosystems on policy and data-driven public sector innovation.

The project has analyzed existing data ecosystems at local and regional level and has supported the cities of Barcelona, Helsinki, Milan and Poznan in experimenting with different sandboxing approaches, aiming to strengthen their data ecosystems, and draw policy lessons for data-driven innovation.

Defining "Sandboxing"
In the context of this project, “sandboxing” refers to testing solutions in a safe environment, with a focus on technical and organizational innovations to enable more efficient and effective delivery of public services through data sharing and reuse. As a result of ongoing interaction with cities, we learnt that it is helpful to differentiate between three types of sandboxing:

  • Technical sandboxing: This refers to the process of safely developing and testing new applications before operationalising them. Within the project, technical sandboxing focused on enabling more visualization and analytics tools, as different data sources were combined.
  • Traditional (technical) sandboxing: Traditionally, new applications are developed and tested in an isolated technical environment or sandbox before incorporating them into the operating environment. This continues to be a well-used and effective mechanism. There are, however, other options that allow development and testing to take place in a carefully managed way within an operating environment.
  • Institutional sandboxing: While the sandbox is primarily a technical environment, the main barriers to developing and producing value in data ecosystems are non-technical. Institutional sandboxing refers to activities aimed at developing and testing solutions to these institutional barriers. Within the project, the institutional sandboxing focused on best practices and policies for Business to Government (B2G) data sharing, such as
    incentives, contracts and partnerships to acquire private sector data.

Validation Survey
To better understand the experience from other European cities and their stakeholders in using sandboxing to improve data-driven innovation, the project team invites all stakeholders to share their experience with using sandboxing activities to develop data ecosystem via our short Validation Survey which should only take 10-15 min to complete: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcucuuprDIvH9z1j6XP-fMtM6dxgYuySWaX

Validation Workshop
All interested stakeholders are also invited to participate in a Validation Workshop on April 28, 14:00-16:00 CET, where the project team will present and validate the key findings from the project which focus on challenges and best practices in implementing sandboxing to develop data ecosystems.

The agenda for the workshop will be communicate shortly. Registration is possible via the following link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcucuuprDIvH9z1j6XP-fMtM6dxgYuySWaX

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Apr 28th
Neeltje Pavicic, Public Tech, Participation, Community Management at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Loop mee met de Smart Citizen wandeling!

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Wandel op zondag 24 april mee langs de digitale sporen van de stad en ga in gesprek over data, sensoren en camera’s in de openbare ruimte.

Wat wordt er aan data verzameld in Amsterdam en wat gebeurt daarmee? Van slimme bewegwijzering die ons leidt, tot camera’s die ons volgen. In een wandeling
van 5.3 km kom je langs slimme technologie in de stad en word je uitgedaagd je aannames te bevragen en toekomstideeën te delen.

Na afloop word je ontvangen met koffie en thee in deTolhuistuin.

Met je hier aan via de website van Waag https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/tickets-smart-citizen-wandeling-amsterdam-208540619607

Meet-up on Apr 24th
Neeltje Pavicic, Public Tech, Participation, Community Management at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Documentaire 'You are Your profile' met nagesprek en borrel

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Elke keer dat we online zijn maken we keuzes die soms vervelende gevolgen kunnen hebben voor onszelf of anderen. Zijn we ons ervan bewust hoe veilig onze persoonsdata werkelijk zijn? En hoe persoonsgegevens zoals je naam, nummer of foto’s gedeeld en gezien kunnen worden door anderen? Precies deze vragen staan centraal in de korte filmYou are Your profile II – Personal considerations in a digital world waarin persoonlijke verhalen van jongeren gevolgd worden die ervaring hebben met bijvoorbeeld online ‘shaming’.

Na de film gaan we met elkaar in gesprek over het leven in een digitale wereld. Welke vragen houden je bezig, waar loop je tegenaan en wat zou de gemeente hierin voor jou kunnen betekenen?

Met de film en de nagesprekken wil de gemeente de bewustwording bevorderen over het delen van persoonlijke data online. Daarnaast wil de gemeente meer weten over hoe zij van waarde kan zijn voor Amsterdammers op dit gebied. We sluiten af met hapjes en drankjes.

Aanmelden via https://www.amsterdam.nl/formulieren/innovatie/you-are-your-profile-ii-personal/?reload=true

Meet-up on Jun 7th
Liza Verheijke, Community Manager at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, posted

Dutch Applied AI Award 2022

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Do you have an innovative initiative in the field of applied Artificial Intelligence? Then submit your innovation for the Dutch Applied AI Award 2022!

This award has been handed out during the annual Computable Awards since 2020 and is an initiative of Computable (the platform for ICT professionals), De Dataloog (the Dutch podcast about data and AI) and the Centre of Expertise Applied Artificial Intelligence of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

A jury (the award is not a public prize) - consisting of five experts in the field of Applied AI - selects five initiatives from all the entries with a chance of winning the Dutch Applied AI Award. After a pitch round in De Dataloog, the jury decides on the winner. The five nominees will all get a platform to present themselves and their initiative in a broadcast of the well-aired podcast. The Dutch Applied AI Award is not only a prize, but also a prize of recognition!

Do you want to compete for the Dutch Applied AI Award 2022? Then submit your innovative AI application! Deadline: Friday, July 1, 2022.

The award will be handed out during the Computable Awards on Wednesday 5 October 2022

Liza Verheijke's picture #DigitalCity
Anonymous posted

Hyperion Lab Kick-Off Party Spring Edition

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May 12, 6 pm, join us for the KICK-OFF SURPRISE PARTY, where we will reveal the hottest AI and HPC Innovations while enjoying cocktails made by a robot bartender. Shaken not stirred. 🥂

What to expect?
See with our eyes how technology brings your ideas into 3D universes.
How AI is training itself to become smarter.
How AI will transform the future of the fashion industry.
...But let’s not reveal too much 😏

Attend the event to say goodbye to our first showcasing startups and celebrate their success gained through the work with Hyperion Lab.
And meet the new startups to rock the stage of our showcase program.

😎 Drinks and food on us! You come with enthusiasm.

🚀 Sign up today with the link below!
https://events.hyperionlab.nl/kickoff-spring

Hyperion Lab is a community-driven project aiming to become the go-to place for AI and HPC innovations.
Our space hosts startup innovations from all around Europe, supporting them with hardware and expertise.
In addition, we host training and events related to the AI and HPC community.
Our mission at Hyperion Lab is to bring together the Dutch and International AI and HPC community within a large-scale smart city in Amsterdam South East. Join our community!

Meet-up on May 12th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

22. Two '100 smart city missions'- Twice an ill-advised leap forward

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The 22nd and penultimate episode in the *Better cities: The contribution of digital technology-*series will discuss two ambitious ‘smart city’plans of two governments and the associated risks.

Recently, the European Commission launched a 100-city plan, the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. One hundred European cities that aspire to be climate neutral by 2030 (you read that correctly) can register and count on supplemental funding. I immediately thought of another 100-city plan, India's Smart City Mission. In 2015, Prime Minister Modi announced that in six years 100 Indian cities would become 'smart'. The official term of the project has now ended, and I will examine below whether this goal has been achieved, I discuss the two plans and then explain why I call both of them a leap forward. At the end I will make a few suggestions for how the European mission can still learn from the Indian one.

India's Smart City Mission

The problem
In India, 377 million people live in cities. In 15 years, 200 million will have been added. Already, traffic in Indian cities has come to a complete standstill, each year more than 600,000 people die from air pollution, half of the urban areas have no drinking water connection, waste collection is poor and only 3% of sewage is treated. The rest is discharged into surface water, which is also the main source of drinking water.

The mission
The Smart City Mission was intended to implement substantial improvements on all these problems in 100 cities, which together comprise 30% of the population. In the improvements digital technology had to play an important role.
The 100 cities were selected because of favorable prospects and the quality of the plans, which usually consisted of a long series of projects.

Governance
The regular city governing bodies were deemed incompetent to lead the projects. That is why management boards (‘special purpose vehicles’) have been appointed, operating under company law and led by a CEO, supported by international consultancy firms. All rights and duties of the City Council regarding the execution of the mission were delegated to the appointed boards, including the power to collect taxes! Not surprisingly, this decision has been challenged in many places. Several cities have withdrawn from 'the mission' for this reason.

Financing
To implement their projects, each city would receive $150 million over five consecutive years. This money should be seen as seed capital to be supplemented from additional sources such as public-private partnerships, commercial bank lending, external financing, loans, and foreign investment.

Area-oriented and pan-urban approach
The plans contain two components: an area-oriented and a pan-urban approach. The first aims at adapting, retrofitting or new construction and should relate to a wide range of 'smart services'. For example high-speed internet, waste facilities, parking facilities, energy-efficient buildings, but also replacement of slums by high-rise buildings. The slick 'architectural impressions' that circulated at the beginning of the planning period (see above) mainly concern the area-oriented approach.
The pan-urban approach includes at least one 'smart' facility for a larger part of the city. The choice is often made to improve the transport infrastructure, for example the construction of new roads and highways and the purchase of electric buses. No fewer than 70 cities have built a 'smart' control center based on the example of Rio de Janeiro, which I believe was rather premature.

Progress
Now that the official term of 'the mission' has ended, a first inventory can be made, although observers complain about a lack of transparency about the results. About half of all the 5000 projects that have been started have not (yet) been completed and a significant part of the government funds have not yet been disbursed. This could still happen in the coming years. This is also because attracting external resources has lagged behind expectations. These funds came mainly from governments, and large technology companies. This has had an impact on the implementation of the plans.
The slow progress of most projects is partly because most of the population was barely aware of the mission and that city councils were not always cooperative either.

Impact
It was foreseen that half of the available resources would go to area-oriented projects; this eventually became 75-80%. As a result, on average only 4% of the inhabitants of the cities involved have benefited from 'the mission' and even then it is not clear what the benefits exactly entail. The city of New Delhi covers an area of almost 1500 km2, while the area concerned is only 2.2 km2: So you're not even going to have 100 smart cities. You're going to have 100 smart enclaves within cities around the country, said Shivani Chaudhry, director of the Housing and Land Rights Network.
It soon became clear that the mission would be no more than a drop in the ocean. Instead of $150 million, it would take $10 billion per city, $1000 billion in total, to address all ambitions, according to an official calculation.  Deloitte was a little more modest, calculating the need for $150 billion in public money and $120 billion from private sources.

Type of projects
The many topics eligible for funding have resulted in a wide variety of projects. Only one city has put the quality of the environment first. Most cities have initiated projects in the areas of clean energy, improving electricity supply, reducing air pollution, construction of new roads, purchasing electric buses, waste disposal and sanitation. What is also lacking, is a focus on human rights, gender, and the interests of the poorest population groups.
In some places, it has been decided to clear slums and relocate residents to high-rise buildings on the outskirts of the city. Indian master architect Doshi warns that the urban vision behind the smart city plans will destroy the informality and diversity that is the cornerstone of the country's rural and urban society. He challenges planners to shift the emphasis to rural areas and to create sufficient choices and opportunities there.

The European Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities

The problem
Cities produce more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and use more than 65% of total energy. In addition, cities in Europe only cover 4% of the total surface area and accommodate 75% of the population. The ecological footprint of the urban population is more than twice what it is entitled to, assuming a proportional distribution of the earth's resources.

The mission
On November 25, 2021, the European Commission called on European cities to express their interest in a new European mission on Climate-neutral and smart cities. The mission aims to have 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, which will act as a model for all other European cities.
The sectors involved in this transformation process are the built environment, energy production and distribution, transport, waste management, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, forestry, and other land uses and large-scale deployment of digital technology. That is why the European Commission talks of a green and digital twin, or a simultaneous green and digital transformation.

Governance
Reaching the stated goal requires a new way of working and the participation of the urban population, hence the motto 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 - by and for the citizens.
According to the plan's authors, the main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technology, but the inability to implement it. The current fragmented form of governance cannot bring about an ambitious climate transition. Crucial to the success of the mission is the involvement of citizens in their various roles as political actors, users, producers, consumers, or owners of buildings and means of transport.

Funding
The additional investment to achieve the mission is estimated at €96 billion for 100 European cities by 2030, with a net positive economic benefit to society of €25 billion that will increase further in the period thereafter. The European Commission will provide €360 million in seed funding.
The overwhelming amount of funding will have to come from banks, private equity, institutional investors, and from the public sector at the local, regional and national level.

What went wrong with the Indian Mission and its follow-up

The gap between ambitions and reality
Almost all comments on 'the mission' emphasize that three necessary conditions were not met from the start, namely a widely accepted governance model, adequate funding, and involvement of the population and local government. There was an unbridgeable gap between ambitions and available resources, with the contribution of external capital being grossly overestimated.
The biggest problem, however, is the gap between the mission's ambitions and the nature of the problems that India it faces: Cities are bursting at the seams because of the millions of poor people who flock to cities every year in search of work and a place to live that find them only in the growing slums. The priorities for which the country must find a solution are therefore: improving life in rural areas, improving housing in the cities, ensuring safe drinking water, waste disposal, sanitation, and purification of wastewater, good (bus) transport and less polluting car traffic. Urgently needed is a sustainable development model that addresses ecological problems, makes urbanization manageable, controls pollution and will use resources efficiently.

Leap forward
The 'Mission' is a leap forward, which does not tackle these problems at the root, but instead seeks a solution in 'smartification'. Policymakers were captivated by the promises made by IBM and other technology companies that ICT is the basis for solving most urban problems. A view that I objected in the third episode of this series. IC solutions have been concentrated in enclaves where businesses and prosperous citizens are welcomed. The Government of India Special Rapporteur on Housing therefore notes that the proposals submitted had a predominant focus on technology rather than prioritizing affordable housing and doubts the correctness of this choice.
Instead of emphasizing the role of digital technology, the focus should have been on equitable, inclusive, and sustainable living areas for all. Not the area-oriented but the pan-urban approach should have prevailed.

Follow-up
Several authors suggest future actions consistent with the above comments:
• Setting a longer time horizon, which is much more in line with the problems as they are felt locally.
• Decentralization, coupled with strengthening local government in combination with citizen participation.
• A more limited number of large-scale pan-urban projects. These projects should have an immediate impact on all 4000 Indian cities and the surrounding countryside.
• More attention for nature and the environment instead of cutting down trees to widen motorways.
• Training programs in the field of urbanization, partly to align urban development with Indian culture.

The European mission revisited

Leap forward
Europe and India are incomparable in many ways, but I do see similarities between the two missions.
With the proclamation of the 'mission', the Indian government wanted to show the ultimate – perhaps desperate – act of determination to confront the country's overwhelming problems. I therefore called this mission a flight forward in which the image of the 'smart city' was used as a catalyst. However, the country’s problems are out of proportion to this, and the other means employed.
It is plausible that the European Union Commission also wanted to take an ultimate act. After the publication of the ambitious European Green Deal, each national governments seems to be drawing its own plan. The ‘100 cities mission’ is perhaps intended as a 'booster', but here too the feasibility of this strategy is doubtful.

Smart and green
The European Union cherishes the image of a 'green and digital twin', a simultaneous green and digital transformation. Both the Government of India and the European Commission consider digital technology an integral part of developing climate neutral cities. I hope to have made it clear in the previous 21 episodes of this series that digital technology will certainly contribute. However, the reduction of greenhouse gases and digitization should not be seen as an extension of each other. Making a city climate neutral requires way more than (digital) technology. Moreover, suitable technology is still partly under development. It is often forgotten that technology is one of the causes of global warming. Using the image of green and smart twins will fuel the tension between the two, just like it happened in India. In that case, it remains to be seen where the priority will lie. In India it was 'smart'.

Funding
Funding of the Indian mission fell short; much is still unclear about funding of the European mission. It is highly questionable whether European states, already faced with strong opposition to the costs of 'climate', will be willing to channel extra resources to cities.

Governance
The European mission wants to be by and for the citizens. But the goal has already been established, namely becoming climate neutral by 2030. A new 'bottom-up' governmental approach would have been to investigate whether there are cities where a sufficiently large part of the population agrees with becoming climate neutral earlier than in 2050 and how much sooner that could be and next, leave it to these cities themselves to figure-out how to do this.

Can Europe still prevent its mission from failing like India's? I propose to look for in the same direction as India seems to be doing now:
•      Opt for one unambiguous goal: Reducing greenhouse gases significantly earlier than 2050.
•      Challenge a limited number of cities each to form a broad coalition of local stakeholders that share this ambition.
•      Make extra resources available, but also ask the cities themselves to make part of the necessary investments.
•      Stimulate universities and industry to provide a European response to Big Tech and to make connections with the 'European Green Deal'.

My e-book Smart City Tales contains several descriptions of intended and alleged smart cities, including the much-discussed Saudi Arabian Neom. The Dutch version is here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Tom Kuipers, Programme Developer at AMS Institute, posted

Join a Virtual Reality experiment in Amsterdam

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Would you like to take part in a Virtual Reality experiment? Then we are looking for you!

What is it? An indoor experiment about using Virtual Reality (VR) to study pedestrian crossing behaviour. Virtual Reality can be a powerful tool in the future to experiment with new settings and implementations before putting them into practice. Are you interested? Register or get in touch with us.

When? From 11 April until 6 May for the duration of 60-90 minutes per participant

Where? AMS Institute, Marineterrein Amsterdam, Kattenburgerstraat 5

Who? Everyone is welcome! We are looking for participants who want to join and help us make it a success! Each participant will receive a €10,- gift voucher

Register now! Here

Thanks

Tom Kuipers's picture #Mobility
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Recap of Demo Days #15

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The first Demo Days of 2022 were a success! On March 10 and 17, we gathered online to connect and inspire our partners and community on the topics Circular & Energy and Digital & Mobility. In this article, we share a recap of the topics and projects discussed during the 15th edition of our Demo Days.

About our Demo Days

The Demo Days are one of the tools we use to stimulate innovation and encourage connection between our partners and community. The purpose of the Demo Days is to present the progress of various innovation projects, ask for help, share dilemmas and involve more partners to take these projects to the next level. More information about the Demo Days can be found here.

Demo Day: Circular & Energy

Circular energy transition
With the changing global economy and shortages of raw materials, it is important to look at materials needed for the energy transition. How can we reduce the negative impact of products that have a positive impact on the energy transition? In this session, participants identified common challenges: think of regulations and logistics, but also behaviour. In addition, one of the conclusions is that education must join the transition. Now that the obstacles are clear, we must reach a joint approach. Do you want to be involved in our next steps? Contact francien@amsterdamsmartcity.com. 

The social side of smart grids – Mark van der Wees (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Lennart Zwols (municipality of Amsterdam)
During the session led by Mark van der Wees and Lennart Zwols, participants discussed the social side of smart grids. Where does the ownership of a smart grid lie? And how can we involve citizens? The main take-out is that we need more knowledge about the broader societal costs, benefits and risks. Questions and input on the societal input of smart grids can be sent to Mark at: m.t.van.wees@hva.nl.

Power in the energy transition – Gijs Diercks (DRIFT)
Gijs Diercks facilitated a session in which we discussed a socio-political aspect of energy transition: namely, how unequal power limits change and reform. Gijs invited participants to discuss their experiences with power relations in energy projects. We often talk about a decentralization of power, but, power often ends up somewhere else. An interesting insight was that it would be good to talk more explicitly about power within concrete projects in the future.

Demo Day: Digital & Mobility

Webinar data management in practice - Arjan Koning (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Huib Pasman (Johan Cruijff ArenA)
Prior to the sessions, Arjan Koning and Huib Pasman gave a webinar on data management in practice. What do you need to consider when working with data? And what do you need to arrange in order to properly deal with ownership and authorization of access?

The ownership and responsibility of data – Noor Bouwens (Province of North Holland)
Following the webinar, Noor Bouwens led a working session in which the participants were introduced to the developments, tasks and challenges that the Province of North Holland sees in this area. It turned out that challenges in the field of data governance are recognizable to the businesses, knowledge institutions and governments alike. The biggest challenge is the substantive management of project data and deciding who is responsible for this.

The smart charging square – Peter van Dam (SlimLaden)
In this session, the participants reflected on what the future of parking will look like based on the smart charging square case in Haarlemmermeer. The main take-out from the session is that a broader framework is needed around electric parking solutions. It is difficult for municipalities to predict the future when it comes to EV charging. Therefore municipalities are hesitant to formulate concrete plans. Hopefully soon, more pilots will be set up to take smart charging solution to the next phase.

Are you joining us?

Our next Demo Days take place on June 14 (Mobility & Energy) and June 21 (Circular & Digital).

Are you working on an innovative project that could use some input? Or are you preparing for an inspiring event that needs a spotlight?

If it fits within our themes, sent a message via trisha@amsterdamsmartcity.com or let us know in the comments. We are happy to talk with you to find out if it's a match! As soon as the program is determined, we will share it on the platform and give you the opportunity to join as participant.

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #Energy
Responsible Sensing Lab, posted

Responsible Sensing Toolkit is live!

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[ENGLISH BELOW]

Met trots presenteren we de Responsible Sensing Toolkit die vorige week werd gelanceerd. Deze Toolkit helpt gemeenten en organisaties die op een verantwoorde manier sensor-technologieën willen inzetten in de openbare ruimte.

Ben jij een stadsinnovator die zich bezighoudt met de inzet van sensoren? En wil je meer te weten komen over hoe je daarbij maatschappelijke normen en waarden als uitgangspunt kunt nemen? De Responsible Sensing Toolkit helpt je in zes stappen op weg.

Bekijk de Responsible Sensing Toolkit op de website van het Responsible Sensing Lab.

In de Toolkit vind je allerlei hulpmiddelen die je op weg helpen met jouw sensing-project. Bijvoorbeeld ons Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas en video's waarin experts hun inzichten delen. Ook kun je je aanmelden voor een van onze workshops, zoals de Quickscan die je helpt bij het maken van een heldere roadmap naar een verantwoord en ethisch sensing-project. In sommige gevallen bieden we deze workshop gratis aan. Lees hier meer over deze workshop.

[ENGLISH]

We proudly present to you the Responsible Sensing Toolkit that was launched last week. This Toolkit empowers municipalities and organizations that want to implement sensing technologies for public space in a responsible manner.

Are you a city innovator thinking about deploying sensors? And do you want to learn more about how societal values could guide you in doing so? The Responsible Sensing Toolkit will help you on your journey in 6 steps.

Check out the Responsible Sensing Toolkit on the website of the Responsible Sensing Lab.

The Toolkit offers many resources that will help you on your way with your sensing project. For instance our Responsible Sensing Toolkit Decision Canvas or our videos in which experts share their insights. We also offer workshops, like a Quick scan that helps you set up a clear roadmap to a responsible and ethical sensing project. In particular cases this workshop is free of charge. Read more about this workshop here.

Responsible Sensing Lab's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Risks and opportunities of digitization in healthcare

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The 21st episode of the Better cities – the contribution of digital technology-series is about priorities for digital healthcare, often referred to as eHealth.

The subject is broader than what will be discussed here. I won't talk about the degree of automation in surgery, the impressive equipment available to doctors, ranging from the high-tech chair at the dentist to the MRI scanner in hospitals, nor about researching microbes in air, water and sewerage that has exploded due to the covid pandemic. Even the relationship with the urban environment remains somewhat in the background. This simply does not play a prominent role when it comes to digitization in healthcare. The subject, on the other hand, lends itself well to illustrate ethical and social problems associated with digitization. As well as the solutions available in the meantime.

The challenge: saving costs and improving the quality of care

The Netherlands can be fortunate to be one of the countries with the best care in the world. However, there are still plenty of challenges, such as a greater focus on health instead of on disease, placing more responsibility for their own health on citizens, increasing the resilience of hospitals, paying attention to health for the poorer part of the population, whose number of healthy life years is significantly lower and, above all, limiting the increase of cost. Over the past 20 years, healthcare in the Netherlands has become 150% more expensive, not counting the costs of the pandemic. Annual healthcare costs now amount to € 100 billion, about 10% of GDP. Without intervention, this will rise to approximately €170 billion in 2040, mainly due to an aging population. In the meantime, healthcare costs are very unevenly distributed: 80% of healthcare costs go to 10% of the population.

The most important task facing the Netherlands and other rich countries is to use digitization primarily to reduce healthcare costs, while not forgetting the other challenges mentioned. This concerns a series of - often small - forms of digital care. According to McKinsey, savings of €18 billion by 2030 are within reach, if only with forms of digitization with proven effect. Most gains can be made by reducing the administrative burden and shifting costs to less specialized centers, to home treatment and to prevention.

Information provision

There are more than 300,000 health sites and apps on the Internet, which provide comprehensive information about diseases, options for diagnosis and self-treatment. More and more medical data can also be viewed online. Often the information on apps is incomplete resulting in misdiagnosis. Doctors in the Netherlands especially recommend the website Thuisarts.nl, which they developed themselves.

Many apps use gamification, such as exercises to improve memory. A good example of digital social innovation is Mirrorable, a program to treat children with motor disorders because of brain injury. This program also enables contact between parents whose inputs continuously help to improve exercises.

Process automation

Process automation in healthcare resembles in many respects automation elsewhere, such as personnel, logistics and financial management. More specific is the integrated electronic patient file. The Framework Act on Electronic Data Exchange in Healthcare, adopted in 2021, obliges healthcare providers to exchange data electronically and prescribes standards. However, data exchange will be minimal and will only take place at a decentralized level to address privacy concerns. The complexity of the organization of health care and the constant discussions about the content of such a system were also immense obstacles. That's a pity because a central system lowers costs and increases quality. Meanwhile, new technological developments guarantee privacy with great certainty. For example, the use of federated (decentralized) forms of data storage combined with blockchain. TNO conducts groundbreaking research in this area. The institution applies the principles of federated learning along with the application of multi-party computation technology. These innovative technologies enable learning from sensitive data from multiple sources without sharing this data.

Video calling

The recent eHealth monitor of the RIVM shows that by 2021 almost half of all doctors and nurses had had contact with patients with video calling, while this hardly happened in 2019. Incidentally, this concerns a relatively small group of patients. In the US there was an even larger increase, which has now been converted into a sharp decline. It seems that in the US primary health care is reinventing itself. Walgreens, the largest US drugstore chain, will begin offering primary care in 1000 of its stores. Apparently, in many cases, physical contact with a doctor is irreplaceable, even if (or perhaps because) the doctor is relatively anonymous.

Video calling is not only important for care provider, but also for informal caregivers, family and friends and help to combat loneliness. Virtual reality (metaverse!) will further expand the possibilities for this. TNO is also active here: The TNO media lab is developing a scalable communication platform in which the person involved (patient or client), using only an upright iPad, has the impression that the doctor, district nurse or visitor is sitting at the table or on the couch right in front.

Self-diagnosis

The effectiveness of a remote consultation is of course served if the patient has already made a few observations him- or herself. 8% of patients with chronic conditions already do this. There is a growing range of self-tests available for, for example, fertility, urinary tract infections, kidney disorders and of course Covid-19. There are also home devices such as smart thermometers, mats that detect diabetic foot complications, and blood pressure meters; basically, everything that doctors often routinely do during a visit. The GGD AppStore provides an overview of relevant and reliable apps in the field of health.

Wearables, for example built into an i-watch, can collect part of the desired data, store it for a longer period and, if necessary, exchange it with the care provider.

More advanced are the mobile diagnosis boxes for emergency care by nurses on location, such as ambulances. With a fast Internet connection (5G), specialist care providers can watch if necessary.

A small but growing group of patients, doctors, and researchers with substantial financial support from Egon Musk sees the future mainly in chip implants. This would allow not only more complete diagnoses to be made, but also treatments to be carried out. Neuralink has developed a brain implant that improves communication with speech and hearing-impaired people. The Synchron brain implant helps people with brain disorders perform simple movements. For the time being, the resistance to brain implants is high.

Remote monitoring

Meanwhile, all these low-threshold amenities can lead us to become fixated on disease rather than on health. But what if we never had to worry about our health again? Instead, the local health center watches over our health thanks to wearables: Our data is continuously monitored and analyzed using artificial intelligence. They are compared with millions of diagnostic data from other patients. By comparing patterns, diseases can be predicted in good time, followed by automated suggestions for self-treatment or advice to consult a doctor. Until then, we have probably experienced nothing but vague complaints ourselves. Wouldn't that be an attractive prospect?

Helsinki is experimenting with a Health Benefit Analysis tool that anonymously examines patients' medical records to evaluate the care they have received so far. The central question here is can the municipality proactively approach people based on the health risk that has come to light because of this type of analysis?

Medics participating in a large-scale study by the University of Chicago and the company Verify were amazed at the accuracy with which algorithms were able to diagnose patients and predict diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer. In a recent article, oncologist Samuel Volchenboom described that it is painful to note that the calculations came from Verify, a subsidiary of Alphabet, which not only used medical data (with patients’ consent), but also all other data that sister company Google already had stored about them. He adds that it is unacceptable that owning and using such valuable data becomes the province of only a few companies.

Perhaps even more problematic is that these predictions are based in part on patterns in the data that the researchers can't fully explain. It is therefore argued that the use of these types of algorithms should be banned. But how would a patient feel if such an algorithmic recommendation is the last straw? It is better to invest in more transparent artificial intelligence.

Implementing digital technology

Both many patients and healthcare professionals still have doubts about the added value of digital technology. The media reports new cases of data breaches and theft every day. Most people are not very confident that blockchain technology, among other things, can prevent this. Most medical specialists doubt whether ICT will reduce their workload. It is often thought of as some additional thing. Numerous small-scale pilot projects are taking place, which consume a lot of energy, but which are rarely scaled up. The supply of digital healthcare technologies exceeds their use.

Digital medicine will have to connect more than at present with the needs of health professionals and patients. In addition to concerns about privacy, the latter are especially afraid of further reductions in personal attention. The idea of a care robot is terrifying them. As should be the case with all forms of digitization, there is a need for a broadly supported vision and setting priorities based on that.

Against this background, a plea for even more medical technology in our part of the world, including e-health, is somewhat embarrassing. Growth in healthy years due to investment in health care in developing countries will far exceed the impact of the same investment in wealthy countries.

Nevertheless, it is desirable to continue deliberately on the chosen path, whereby expensive experiments for the benefit of a small group of patients have less priority in my opinion than investments in a healthy lifestyle, prevention, and self-reliance. Healthcare cannot and should not be taken over by robots; digitization and automation are mainly there to support and improve the work of the care provider and make it more satisficing and efficient.

One of the chapters in my e-book Future cities, always humane, smart if helpful, also deals with health care and offers examples of digital tools. In addition, it pays much more contextual information about the global health situation, particularly in cities. You can download by following the link below. The Dutch edition is here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Marco Faase, ICT Consultant & Computer Science Student , posted

Master thesis topic IoT Computer Science

Hi, I'm a masterstudent at the Open University in the Netherlands. I'm looking for a topic for the master thesis in Computer Science.

I'm interested in IoT in combination wiht sustainability. So I think that there must be a suitable topic in relation with smart cities.

The topic should be technical. On this moment I'm doing research on a topic, so in september 2022 I can start with it.

Marco Faase's picture #DigitalCity
Manon den Dunnen, Strategisch specialist digitaal , posted

Sensemakers latest on Metaverse/Extended Reality

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This evening we will meet at NewBase on the Marineterrein, after a short introduction about the Metaverse (context and hype) Daniel Doornik and others will share the latest insights and their latest applications in VR, AR and MR.
There also will be the opportunity to try it out!

Really looking forward welcoming you offline again!! As there is limited catering, feel free to bring your own! Presentations usually start at 19h & end around 20.30 with "open mic" when you can share your own story/event/question.

Manon den Dunnen's picture Meet-up on Apr 20th
Maarten Sukel, AI Lead at City of Amsterdam, posted

Kunstmatige Intelligentie werklab Amsterdam

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Praat en beslis mee over de toepassing van kunstmatige intelligentie in Amsterdam. Tijdens het werklab ga je in gesprek over een concrete casus over het gebruik van een sensorenregister in de stad. Hoe moeten we daar volgens jou mee omgaan?

Een extra paar ogen is soms best handig. In Amsterdam zijn er veel extra ogen: camera’s en sensoren. Deze camera’s en sensoren zijn van de gemeente, maar ook van de buurtsupermarkt, dat grote internationale bedrijf of uw buurman. Gemeente Amsterdam wil graag weten hoeveel camera’s en sensoren er in Amsterdam zijn. Het is mogelijk om met kunstmatige intelligentie data van camera’s en sensoren in kaart te brengen. Maar hoe zit het met de privacy van Amsterdammers als zulke data worden verzameld? En is het automatisch in kaart brengen van camera’s en sensoren wel een goed idee?

Wij nodigen u van harte uit voor het KI-werklab, dé plek waar Amsterdammers met elkaar nadenken over het gebruik van slimme toepassingen in de stad. Het werklab wordt georganiseerd door Netwerk Democratie.

Maarten Sukel's picture Meet-up on Apr 6th
Maarten Sukel, AI Lead at City of Amsterdam, posted

City of Amsterdam AI Graduation Research Fair @Datalab

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In this DemoDonderdag edition, we invite you to help us with steering 20 graduation research projects into valuable AI solutions for Amsterdam!

Program:
15:45 - Doors open
16:00 - Short Introduction
16:10 - Interactive Poster Session
17:00 - Networking & Snacks

Every year, we give master's students from the field of AI and Data Science the opportunity to conduct their graduation research on real-life problems together with the City of Amsterdam.

This year, we collaborate with 20 students from the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit, and the University of Twente, on topics such as measuring the accessibility of our city, creating a healthier, greener, and cleaner environment, optimizing the maintenance of public assets and infrastructure, as well as improving internal processes such as document management.

During this event, the students will present their research directions and current findings, as well as their plans for the remainder of their theses. In a poster session setup, everyone would be able to explore the different projects, enjoy short demonstrations, and have an open discussion about their favorite topics.

What we would need from you is an open mind, constructive feedback, and fresh ideas, so that together we could help all projects crystallize, and eventually, turn them into valuable AI solutions for our city.

Last but not least, this would be a moment for all of us to reconnect and meet each other in a fully physical event.

Maarten Sukel's picture Meet-up on Apr 7th
Tom van Arman, Director & Founder at Tapp, posted

What role do Smart Cities play in a ‘post pandemic’ world?

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PODCAST: In this episode of the Tech Data Tech on Stage podcast we discuss thorny 21st century issues like opting-in and opting out of public space, innovation outpacing governments and planners, hyper transparency = open source & open data, and “greening of IT” versus “greening by IT” . Awesome round table with Lieke Hamers of Dell Technologies, Tom van Arman of TAPP, Markus Pfundstein of LIFE electronic and Kees Tolsma of Tech Data.  A great 30min session moderated by Danny Frietman and produced by Patrick Vogelaar

Stories from the living labs front line: Bureau Marineterrein and Johan Cruijff Arena

Listen on:

Tom van Arman's picture #DigitalCity
Sophie van der Ploeg, Community Manager & Program Officer Digital at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

5 belangrijke inzichten uit het Responsible Drones Report

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De inzet van drones in steden is volop in ontwikkeling en kan in de nabije toekomst helpen bij het oplossen van allerlei vraagstukken. Maar naast kansen brengt de technologie ook risico’s met zich mee, zoals schending van privacy en dreigingen op het gebied van veiligheid en cybersecurity. Wat is er nodig om drones verantwoord toe te passen?

Het Responsible Sensing Lab, Amsterdam Drone Lab en Amsterdam Smart City sloegen de handen ineen om deze vraag te beantwoorden middels een reeks kennis- en designsessies in het Responsible Drones project. Het Lab brengt nu een rapport uit vol inzichten en adviezen voor verantwoord dronegebruik. De vijf inzichten die centraal staan:

  1. De gemeente Amsterdam onderzoekt op basis van de 4 vastgestelde rollen (gebruiker, regelgever, faciliteerder en beschermheer) de kansen van zinvolle drone toepassingen in de openbare ruimte.
    
  2. Voor verantwoord droneverkeer moet de proportionaliteit van de toepassing getoetst worden. Vandaag de dag zijn er nog geen spelregels rondom de maatschappelijke proportionaliteit van drones.
    
  3. Bewoners en maatschappelijke organisaties moeten bij ontwikkelingen rondom drones sterker worden aangehaakt én aangehaakt blijven. Momenteel vinden projecten rondom de toepassing van drones voornamelijk plaats in de vorm van publiek-private samenwerkingen waarin marktpartijen sterk vertegenwoordigd zijn.
    
  4. Toekomstscenario’s met drones lijken voor veel mensen nog ver weg en er is over het algemeen weinig kennis over dit onderwerp. Door de complexiteit is de dialoog met burgers over drones een uitdaging.
    
  5. Drones roepen snel argwaan op bij burgers. Heldere communicatie over drones verhoogt de publieke acceptatie en maakt tegenspraak door burgers mogelijk.
    

Benieuwd naar de toelichting en bijbehorende adviezen van deze vijf inzichten? Download een korte of lange versie van het rapport op: https://responsiblesensinglab.org/nl/projecten/responsible-drones#report.

Responsible Drones is een samenwerking tussen het Responsible Sensing Lab, Amsterdam Drone Lab, Marineterrein Amsterdam en Amsterdam Smart City.

Afbeelding: © Dutch Drone Delta, Antea Group

Sophie van der Ploeg's picture #DigitalCity
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Smart grids: where social and digital innovation meet

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The 20th episode of the Better Cities - The contribution of digital technology-series is about electrification, as part of climate adaptation. Based on this theme, both the role of digital technology and the relationship between digital and social innovation will be illustrated.

The Dutch government has dug deep into its pockets to get citizens and companies to cover their roofs with solar panels and to encourage the construction of solar meadows. Favorable tax facilities have been created and a generous so-called ‘salderingsregeling’ has been set up, and with success.

Solar energy and grid overload

Most citizens are very satisfied with solar panels and their impact on the energy bill. So far, no audit office has checked what the government pays for a kilowatt hour of electricity that citizens produce on their roofs. This includes the costs of the aforementioned (tax) facilities and subsidies, as well as the billions in investments in grid reinforcement resulting from the large-scale (re)delivery to the grid of decentral generated energy. In fact, when there is more supply than demand for electricity on the grid, the wholesale price of electricity is negative. In that case, thanks to the ‘salderingsregeling’, the electricity company pays back the full amount and also has to pay(!) companies that buy electricity at that time!

And now? Now the government suffers the consequences and is limiting the growth in the number of solar panels. Many requests for the large-scale generation of solar energy are waiting for a license because the electricity grid in large parts of the Netherlands is overloaded.

There are three ways to solve this problem. The first is to increase the capacity of the high-voltage grid. The second is large-scale storage of electricity, both for the short and the long term. The third is network management. The least elegant solution here is curtailment which means that the capacity of all solar meadows and wind farms is only used for 70%. A better alternative is the construction of smart grids; this is what this article is about. Smart grids have more to do with digitization than with extra cables. *A smart grid is an energy system in which PV panels, electric cars, heat pumps, household appliances, large but also small-scale storage systems and substations are intelligently connected.*However, more attention to energy storage is desperately needed too and high-voltage grid reinforcement will also be inevitable locally.

From centralized to decentralized electricity supply

Electricity infrastructure around the world is designed for centralized electricity generation, characterized by one-way traffic from producer to consumer. Now that many consumers have also become producers ('prosumers') and solar meadows and wind farms are being developed in many places in addition to the usual power plants, the network structure of the future must be decentralized. It will consist of two or three levels. Together, these will ensure a stable system in which much more electricity is used than today. This new structure is at the forefront of development. In 2016, approximately $47 billion was spent worldwide on infrastructure and software to make the electricity system more flexible, integrate renewable energy and better serve customers. The book Promoting Digital Innovations to Advance Clean Energy System (2018) is an excellent overview of these developments. This book can here be downloaded for free.

Most prosumers supply an average of 65% of the generated electricity back to the main grid. Own storage capacity is part of the solution and creates a mini grid that significantly reduces the need to supply back. Otherwise, there are times when the main grid benefits from supplying back locally generated power. Therefore, the next step is for main and mini grids to communicate with each other. In this case we speak of a smart grid: The management of energy production in large-scale power stations (including wind and solar parks) will then take place in conjunction with the regulation of the inflow and outflow of electricity from the main grid to the mini grids. This may also include signals to households to charge or discharge batteries, turn on the boiler, postpone charging the car or stop the production of energy. An automated monitoring and control system is a necessary enabler here.

The exchange of data between mini grids and the main grid has many privacy aspects, especially if the grid operator can influence what goes on 'behind the meter'. An intermediate layer between main and mini grids offers a solution. We then speak of a microgrid. This is a kind of switch between the main grid and the micro grid, that enables the micro grid even to function autonomously in the event of a failure of the main grid.

microgrid contains three elements:

1. Installation(s) for local energy production for more than one user (usually a neighborhood): solar panels, wind turbines, cogeneration, heat pump(s), biomass power station, hydropower turbine and possibly an emergency production system (generator).

2. A storage system: home and neighborhood batteries and in the future also supercapacitors and chemical latent heat storage.

3. A digital management system to guarantee the balance between the production of and the demand for electricity, to determine how much energy is taken from or returned to the main grid and which calculates the costs and benefits per household.

The micro-grid

In a micro grid, households can exchange their surpluses and shortages of electricity without the direct intervention of the grid operator or the electricity producers. These are solely related to the surpluses and deficits of the entire microgrid, eliminating the need to interfere in the mini grids of individual households. Thanks to the real-time monitoring of electricity production and consumption, the price of electricity can be determined minute by minute. For example, the households that are part of the microgrid can agree to purchase as much electricity as possible when the price is low. At such moments, home batteries, electric cars, any neighborhood battery and boilers and hot water barrels will be charged and heated. This can be done fully automated. For example, the Powermatcher, an open-source application developed by TNO, which now employs 1000 people in the Netherlands. This video illustrates how a microgrid works.

A microgrid gains extra value if the users form an energy cooperative. Here it is possible to decide about the algorithms that regulate the circulation of the current in the microgrid. A cooperative can also take care of the management and maintenance of the solar panels of other collective facilities such as a neighborhood battery, local energy sources (wind or solar park or geothermal heat). The cooperative is also a good means of negotiating with the network operator and the energy company.

The virtual power plant

By linking heat pump technology, energy generation and energy storage at the district level, a significant step can be made with the energy transition. Here are some examples.

The Amsterdam virtual power plant
An almost classic example of a microgrid is the Amsterdam virtual power plant. Here, 50 households produce electricity with solar panels, store it in-house and trade it according to availability when the price on the energy market is most favorable.

Future Living Berlin
This is a nice small-scale practical example developed by Panasonic. Future Living Berlin consists of a neighborhood with apartment buildings for a total of 90 households. The residential buildings are equipped with 600 solar panels that, together with a collective battery system, provide a constant flow of sustainable energy. Among others, to power the seventeen central air/water heat pumps, of which two to five per residential building are installed in a cascade and provide heating and hot tap water. The shared cars and communal washing machines are good for the environment, and they also promote neighborly contact. The Internet of Things also plays a role in controlling the heat pumps. Installers maintain remote access to these systems via a cloud platform.

Tesla's Virtual Power Plant
Tesla has built a virtual power plant in Australia for 50,000 households. Every household has solar panels, with a capacity of 5 kilowatts and a Tesla Powerwall battery of 13.5 kilowatt-hours. As a result, the power station has a capacity of 250 megawatts and a storage capacity of 675 megawatt-hours. Here too, every household charges the battery and possibly the car with self-generated energy and with cheap energy if the supply is large, and they supply the energy they have left to the electricity companies at the market price. In this way the participants save 20% of the annual energy costs.

The ultimate step: autarky
Companies that want to use solar panels and supply the surplus of energy back to the grid are also increasingly encountering the capacity limitations of the main grid. The result is that an increasing number of businesses take power supply into their own hands and even completely refraining from being connected to the grid. Commercial solutions for local virtual power grids are now available, for which companies such as Alfen and Joulz are involved. One of the options is Energy-as-a-service, where the business customer does not invest in an installation but pay a fixed amount per month.

The use of blockchain

Blockchain enables exchanging surplus energy between prosumers without human intervention. Brooklyn Microgrid is a 'benefit corporation', to which every resident who has solar panels can connect and buy energy directly from or sell energy to another user (P2P), without the intervention of the electricity company. Blockchain provides a secure, transparent, and decentralized ledger of all energy production and consumption data and transactions based on 'smart contracts'. These are self-executing programs that automate the exchange of value (here, the amount of electricity) on bilaterally agreed terms. Home and neighborhood batteries, individual and collective heat pumps and charging stations for cars can also be connected to this system.

A similar pilot with blockchain is taking place in the southern German town of Wilpoldsried. Project partners Siemens, grid operator AllgäuNetz, Kempten University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) have jointly developed the platform and an app, considering the given load capacity of the grid.

Digital twins: need for oversight

Smart grids, ranging from local mini and micro grids to regional applications, are a substantial alternative to grid reinforcement. At the same time, they create new electricity flows, especially where there is a direct exchange between smart grids and the main grid. That is why there is a growing need to map these flows and regulate them where necessary. Digital twins can be helpful here.

Delft University of Technology has developed a small digital twin for a quarter of the Dutch high-voltage grid. This will gradually be expanded to encompass the entire network. To this end, the existing high-voltage hall of TU Delft will be converted into an Electrical Sustainable Power Lab, which will mirror the electricity network, including high-voltage pylons, sources of wind and solar energy, energy storage and distribution networks. This allows, for example, to simulate the effect of linking a new wind farm. As a result, it provides an overview of all bottlenecks and thus lays the foundation for better network management or the choice for grid reinforcement.

But there are also many promising developments at the local level. For that we must be in the US for the time being. The Cityzenith company, together with Arizona State University, has developed the SmartWorldOS digital twin and is making it available to Phoenix, Las Vegas and New York. Each of these cities is building a digital twin of a part of the center. The twins comprise all the buildings, transportation systems and infrastructure of the affected areas and are powered by sensors sent over a 5G network. They aggregate 3D (space) and 4D (time) data about the actual energy use and visualize and analyze it. Subsequently, the impact of other forms of lighting, heating, but also electricity generation with solar panels on the roof, on the facades and in the windows can be simulated and measured and a decision can be made about their implementation.

I have compiled a dossier on many aspects of the use of solar energy. This dossier deepens this article in several respects. Innovations in solar panels, the use of window glass to generate energy, the growth of solar energy in the Netherlands and the storage of electricity are discussed. Those who are interested can find this file by following the link below.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #Energy
Hanna Rab, Communication advisor at City of Amsterdam: Chief Technology Office, posted

Responsible Sensing Lab op Arcam tentoonstelling Private_Eye_Butler_Spy

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Afgelopen week is de tentoonstelling Private Eye Butler Spy geopend in Arcam. Hier zijn prototypes van 3 projecten van Responsible Sensing Lab te zien, een samenwerking van AMS Institute en gemeente Amsterdam. De tentoonstelling onderzoekt de impact van technologie in en rondom het huis.

De tentoonstelling

Toepassingen in en rond het huis worden steeds intelligenter: in plaats van een huissleutel bepalen toegangssystemen aan de hand van biometrische data of een deur opengaat. In de stad controleren scanauto’s of parkeergelden zijn betaald en registreren sensoren de drukte op straat of de luchtkwaliteit. De tentoonstelling Private_Eye_Butler_Spy onderzoekt de veranderende relatie tussen technologie en de mens. Aan de hand van verschillende thema’s verkennen bezoekers welke ethische vraagstukken en ontwerpopgaven een high-tech-toekomst met zich meebrengt.

Bezoeken

Private_Eye_Butler_Spy is gratis te bezoeken van 12 maart t/m 26 juni 2022 bij Arcam aan de Prins Hendrikkade 600.

#DigitalCity
Gijs Boerwinkel, Head of communications at Waag, posted

De Staat van het Internet 2022: Operatie Opnieuw Opstarten

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Tijdens de Staat van het Internet 2022 steekt Waag samen met SIDN Fonds, De Groene Amsterdammer, CTO Amsterdam en de OBA de peilstok in het internet.

Nani Jansen Reventlow, mensenrechtenadvocaat, geeft dit jaar de lezing, die zowel online als live bij te wonen is vanuit de centrale OBA in Amsterdam. Coreferent is Renske Leijten, kamerlid voor de SP en bekend vaan haar werk in de commissie digitale zaken en bij het blootleggen van het toeslagenschandaal.

In de begindagen van het internet waren de idealen groot: een open, nieuwe, vrije wereld waarin iedereen gelijk is. Maar 25 jaar later staan we er heel anders voor.

De kritiek op big tech zwelt aan. Waar sociale media en online diensten lang konden opereren onder troebele gebruiksvoorwaarden en met ondoorzichtige algoritmes, komt nu schandaal na schandaal aan het licht. Of het nu gaat om Meta, het moederbedrijf van Facebook en Instagram, of Google: ze liggen onder vuur voor de onduidelijke manier waarop ze gebruikersdata verzamelen, en voor het aanzwengelen van polarisatie.

Het scala aan problemen omvat grote vraagstukken als privacy, zelfbeschikking, propaganda en platformisering. De meer humane en eerlijke ‘samenleving’ die we ons begin jaren negentig voorstelden, klinkt inmiddels als een utopie. Discriminerende algoritmes, datalekken, conspiracy theories en bedreigingen zijn aan de orde van de dag.

In het nieuwe coalitieakkoord lezen we: ‘het is extra belangrijk dat er een publiek mediadomein is: een herkenbare, onafhankelijke en betrouwbare bron van informatie.’ Waag doet bijvoorbeeld binnen het project PublicSpaces onderzoek naar een veilige digitale publieke ruimte, en hoe we deze moeten inrichten.

Maar de vraag blijft: hoe komen we tot een internet dat open, eerlijk en inclusief is? En wat is er echt nodig om over te stappen van de oude, troebele sociale media naar nieuwe initiatieven? Tijd om te rebooten. In de Staat van het Internet 2022 starten we Operatie Opnieuw Opstarten.

Bij de Staat van het Internet steekt Waag jaarlijks de peilstok in het internet. De lezing wordt dit jaar gegeven door Nani Jansen Reventlow, prijswinnende mensenrechtenadvocaat, gespecialiseerd in strategische procesvoering op het snijvlak van mensenrechten, sociale rechtvaardigheid en technologie.

Waar: Theaterzaal, Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA Oosterdok). Online bijwonen kan ook (beide gratis).

Wanneer: donderdag 31 maart, 16:00-18:00 uur.

Gijs Boerwinkel's picture Lecture / presentation on Mar 31st
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Will MaaS reduce the use of cars?

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In the 18th episode of the Better Cities - The contribution of technology-series, I answer the question how digital technology in the form of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) will help reduce car use, which is the most important intervention of improving the livability of cities, in addition to providing citizens with a decent income.

Any human activity that causes 1.35 million deaths worldwide, more than 20 million injuries, total damage of $1,600 billion, consumes 50% of urban space and contributes substantially to global warming would be banned immediately. This does not apply to traffic, because it is closely linked to our way of life and to the interests of motordom. For example, in his books Fighting traffic and Autonorame: The illusory promise of high-tech driving, Peter Horton refers to the coteri of the automotive industry, the oil companies and befriended politicians who have been stimulating car use for a century. Without interventions, global car ownership and use will grow exponentially over the next 30 years.

Reduction of car use

In parallel with the growth of car use, trillions have been invested worldwide in ever new and wider roads and in the management of traffic flows with technological means.

It has repeatedly been confirmed that the construction of more roads and traffic-regulating technology have a temporary effect and then further increase car use. Economists call this induced demand. The only effective counter-measures are impeding car use and to discourage the perceived need to use the car, preferably in a non-discriminatory way.

Bringing housing, shopping, and employment closer together (15-minute city) reduces the need to travel by car, but this is a long-term perspective. The most effective policy in the short term is to reduce parking options at home, at work and near shopping facilities and always prioritizing alternative modes of transport (walking, micro-mobility, and public transport). Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been investing in bicycle infrastructure for years and are giving cyclists a green track in many places at the expense of car traffic.

For several years now, Paris has also been introducing measures to discourage car traffic by 1,400 kilometers of cycle paths, ban on petrol and diesel cars in 2030, redesign of intersections with priority for pedestrians, 200 kilometers of extension of the metro system and closure of roads and streets. Meanwhile, car use has fallen from 61% in 2001 to 35% now. Milan has similar plans and in Berlin a group is preparing a referendum in 2023 with the aim of making an area car-free larger than Manhattan. Even in Manhattan and Brooklyn, there is a strong movement to reduce car use through a substantial shift of road capacity from cars to bicycles, pedestrians, and buses.

Public transport

Because of the pandemic, the use of public transport has decreased significantly worldwide as many users worked from home, could not go to school, took the bicycle or a car. Nevertheless, cities continue to promote public transport as a major strategy to reduce car use. In many places in the world, including in Europe, urban development has resulted in a high degree of dispersion of and between places to live, shop, and work. The ease of bridging the 'last mile' will contribute significantly to the increase in the use of public transport. While bicycles play an important role in this in the Netherlands, the ideas elsewhere are based on all forms of 'dockless micromobility’.

Autonomous transport

From a technological point of view, autonomous passenger transport involves type four or five at a taxonomy of automated cars. This includes the Waymo brand developed by Google. In some places in the US, these cars are allowed to drive with a supervisor ('safety driver') on board. Type 5 (fully autonomous driving under all circumstances) does not yet exist at all, and it is highly questionable whether this will ever happen. Besides, it is questionable too whether the automotive industry aspires building such a car at a substantial scale. Given their availability, it is expected that many people will forgo purchasing them and instead use them as a shared car or as a (shared or not) taxi. This will significantly reduce car ownership. To sell as many cars as possible, it is expected that the automotive industry will aim for level three automation, which means that the car can take over the actions of the driver, who must stay vigilant.

The impact on cities of autonomous shared cars and (shared) taxis is highly uncertain. Based on traffic data in the Boston area and surveys of residents, a study by the Boston Consultancy Group shows that approximately 30% of all transport movements (excluding walking) will take place in an autonomous car. But it also appears that users of public transport are a significant part of this group. Most people interviewed were scared using an unmanned shared taxi. Without sharing, there will be more cars on the road and more traffic jams in large parts of the city than now. A scenario study in the city of Porto (Portugal) that assumes that autonomous cars are mainly used as shared taxis and public transport is not cannibalized shows a significant decrease in car traffic.

Considering refraining from car use

Designing an efficient transport system is not that difficult; its acceptance by people is. Many see the car as an extension of the home, in which - even more than at home - they can listen to their favorite music, smoke, make phone calls or meet other persons unnoticed. Considering this, the step to alternative transport such as walking, cycling, or using public transport is a big one.

Most people will only decide to do so if external circumstances give sufficient reason. Hybrid working can lead to people wondering whether keeping an expensive (second) car is still responsible and cycling – in good weather – is also an option. Or they notice that because of restrictions driving a car loses part of its attractiveness and that public transport is not that bad after all. Some employers (Arcadis, for example) also encourage other forms of mobility than the (electric) lease car. <i>This lays the foundation for a 'mind set' in which people begin to break down their mobility needs into different components, each of which is best served by another mode of transport.</i> As soon as they realize that the car is an optimal solution only for part of the journeys, they realize that the price is shockingly high and a shared car is cheaper. For other journeys, a (shared) bicycle or public transport may be considered. Against this background, the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) must be placed.

Mobility as a Service: MaaS

MaaS is an app that offers comprehensive door-to-door proposals for upcoming journeys, ranging from the nearest shared bicycle or scooter for the first mile or alternatively a (shared) taxi, the best available connection to public transport, the best transfer option, to the best option for the last mile. For daily users of the same route, the app provides information about alternatives in the event of disruptions. In the event of a delay in the journey, for example on the way to the airport, an alternative will be arranged if necessary. No worries about departure times, mode of transport, tickets, reservations, and payment. At least, ideally.

These kinds of apps are being developed in many places in the world and by various companies and organizations. First, Big Tech is active, especially Google. Intel also seems to have all the components for a complete MaaS solution, after taking over Moovit, Mobileye and Cubic. In Europe, it is mainly local and regional authorities, transport companies (Transdec, RATP, NS) and the automotive industry (Daimler-Benz and in the Netherlands PON).

The Netherlands follows its own course. The national MaaS program is based on public-private partnership. Seven pilots are ready to take-off. Each of these pilots places a different emphasis: Sustainability, accessibility of rural areas, congestion reduction and public transport promotion, integration of target group transport, public transport for the elderly and cross-border transport.

The pandemic has delayed its start significantly. The Gaiyo pilot in Utrecht (Leidsche Rijn) is the only one that is active for some time, and the results are encouraging. Apart from the national MaS pilots, the RiVier initiative was launched in January 2019; a joint venture of NS, RET and HTM in collaboration with Siemens.

Worth mentioning is an initiative from the European Union (European Institute for Innovation and technology - Urban Mobility), Eindhoven University of Technology, Achmea and Capgemini. 21 partners have now joined, including the municipality of Amsterdam. The aim is a pan-European open mobility service platform, called Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS). The project aims to provide MaaS for the whole of Europe in the long term. UMOS expects local providers to join this initiative. Unlike most other initiatives, this is a non-profit platform. For the other providers, profitability will mainly be a long-term perspective.

The development of the MaaS app is complex from a technological and organizational point of view. It is therefore not surprising that five years after the first landing there are only partial solutions. <b>The basis for a successful app is the presence of a varied and high-quality range of transport facilities, a centralized information and sales system and standardization of various data and interfaces of all transport companies involved.</b> So far, they have not always been willing to share data. A company like London Transport wants to maintain direct contact with customers, and Uber and Lyft don't want to hand over the algorithms they use to calculate their variable fare. This type of data is indispensable for realizing a real-time offer of several door-to-door transport alternatives for every conceivable route, including pricing, and purchasing tickets. It is hoped that licensing authorities will mandate the provision of all data required for a fully functioning MaaS platform.

One of the most balanced MaaS applications is MaaX developed by Capgemini, the Paris Transport Authority and the RATP. This is comparable to the NS and OV9292 app, supplemented by options for carpooling, taxi transport, shared cars, shared bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, and parking.

Does MaaS is viable?

I believe that MaaS as such will encourage very few motorists to refrain from owning a car. This will mainly have to be done through measures that impede car use or reduce the need for it. Nevertheless, MaaS is useful for those who have just decided to look for alternatives. The app also has added-value for users of public transport, for instance if information in the event of disruptions is made available timely.

It is therefore clear to me that this app should be made available as a form of service, funded by the transport providers and the government and can make significant savings in infrastructure costs if car use decreases.

The above deepens two essays included in my e-book Cities of the Future: Always humane, smart if helpful. The first essay Livability and traffic – The walkable city connects insights about livability with different forms of passenger transport and policy. The second essay Towards zero road casualties: The traffic-safe city discusses policies to make traffic safer and the effect of 'self-driving' cars on road safety. The e-book can be downloaded here by following the link below.

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